Stephen Curry, you are one of the golden children of the NBA, running the show for one of the League’s best teams. Life is good, and while you have a lot going on at work, plus with the demands of the fans, media and business community, you probably don’t have much time for yourself. But you should always have time to read. SE Hinton’s The Outsiders is the tale of a good kid called Ponyboy, caught up in the mix of gang warfare, which is slightly like your rivalry with the Clippers. There’s negativity in life that will try to drag you into the darkness, but you have to stay gold, Ponyboy…um, Steph.
In the book, Ponyboy belongs to the Greasers, the ones who don’t have all the money, and the war is against the Socs, the rich kids from the other side of town. Now, even though you grew up as the son of a legendary NBA sniper, and your team is bursting with talent, the Golden State Warriors have always been a rag tag bunch in the shadows. Your squad hasn’t been a serious threat to win it all since the late ’70s. It’s been fun to watch the Warriors over the years, but never with the implication that they were competing for the ring. That’s been the domain of the Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Bulls, Pistons, Rockets and Heat, with a random team thrown in now and then. Maybe you felt this way in college, taking Davidson up against mighty Kansas. Face it: As amazing as your career has been thus far, unless you’re on one of those established power teams, you’re an outsider.
Ponyboy has to get out of town after some stuff goes down, which gives him time to think. The Outsiders has been popular with students for decades because of that “stuff,” which is violence, but also because the narrator is easy to relate to. People feel they can relate to you, Steph Curry, because they don’t see you as some untouchable genetic superman. You are the perfect first-person narrator for a journey through the treacherous lands of the NBA. The Western Conference is a dangerous place.
There’s a key moment when Ponyboy learns the lesson of a Robert Frost poem, that nothing gold remains that way forever, but we can still cherish the glorious days. Your team is one of the big stories of the first half, and soon enough there will be real pressure put on you to live up to a higher standard. Enjoy this time, but also make time for The Outsiders, which truly is a reflection of these days. Stay Golden State.
Sam Rubenstein is a SLAM contributor and a high school English teacher in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter @SamRubenstein.